Published On : Wed, Jul 1st, 2015

Father of ‘Short Messaging Service’ (SMS) – Matti Makkonen dies at age 63

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Nagpur: It is because of his efforts that we are enjoying instant inter-personal communication, especially messaging. From Telegraphic message to SMS, was long journey.

The pioneer of text service Matti Makkonen died at the age of 63 years due to critical illness on Friday, June 26, 2015, leaving behind a legacy that initiated a generation of technology.

Makkonen was the one who invented the original idea for ‘Short Messaging Service’ in the year 1984, while working as Civil Servant over a pizza at a Telecoms Conference in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen. However, it was only on December 3 in 1992 that the first text message was sent.

Despite being known as the father of SMS, Makkonen was often quick to point out that the development was a joint effort and not a single handed affair. In 2012, in an SMS interview, Matti said that he believed texting in some form would be around “forever”. On completion of 20 years of ‘SMS’ invention, he claimed that he believed the real advent of SMS was when the Nokia 2010 handset popularized the service in 1994 with their easy-to-write messaging.

In addition to a few choice bit from the piece, Makkonen said he never expected SMS to become so important on its own, but thought of it more as “another feature for the revolutionary mobile communications system, useful for quick business needs.”

He also opined that, although pay-per-message SMS services wouldn’t stick around, text messaging of some sort would always have a place in the world of communication, be it Facebook chat or Skype or others instant e-communication.

Makkonen also quoted that SMS in some form would exist for a long time. Indeed while the number of SMS messages sent in the UK is falling, billions are sent every day across the world.

Makkonen worked for Nokia Networks and Tele Finland, and was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Finnet Oy between 2003 and 2005. In 2008 he was named a winner of The Economist’s Innovation awards, for his work on the message standard.